Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THREE suspects who were arrested during a raid at their residential flat in Bulawayo for allegedly running a drug cartel that sold dagga and other dangerous substances have appeared in court.
The trio was arrested last week during a raid at a residential flat in the city’s Central Business District leading to the recovery of mbanje, ‘broncho’, sex enhancing pills all worth more than RTGS$10 000 and varying amounts of money in both local and foreign currency.
The flat was targeted after residents living nearby complained that the area was being turned into a haven of crime. Police units including CID Drugs and the Canine Unit pounced on the flat and recovered substantial quantities of mbanje and other drugs.
Arkinmon Sarishongwa (41), Blessing Muchenje (27) and Sibusisiwe Lunga (34) all residing at Eaglesham Flat situated at the corner of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 1st Avenue appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi facing charges of illegal possession of dagga and unregistered medicines in violation of the Medicine and Allied Substances Control Act.
They were remanded in custody to tomorrow.
Prosecuting, Mr Mufaro Mageza said on June 11 this year, acting on a tip off police went to Eaglesham Flat armed with a search warrant.
“When police arrived at the flat, they knocked on the door and identified themselves before ordering the accused persons to open but they did not comply. The police officers then force opened the door and found the accused persons seated in a room where there was loose and prepared dagga in plastic bags,” said Mr Mageza.
The court heard that police also recovered US$801, Pula3 820, R50 and RTGS$21 and the money was realised from drug dealings.
A further search led to the recovery of 58 bottles of Bron Cleer cough syrup, 61 bottles of alcophyllex cough syrup, packets of Diazepam tablets and sex enhancing pills branded Sildenafil all valued at $1 312.
According to online reports, Diazepam, which is also known as Valium, can cause death especially if it is mixed with other drugs.
It is mainly used under controlled environments to treat depression, anxiety and seizures. However, it is widely used illegally to achieve an instant high through mixing it with alcohol and other drugs.
According to medical experts, prolonged use of Diazepam can cause liver, bladder and kidney damage.
Of late there has been an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospitals suffering from mental problems because of drug abuse.— @mashnets